Daniele Cristoforo Molmenti is Italy’s most famous canoeist, Gold medal at London Olympic Games in 2012 for the K1 slalom specialty. Today he is telling us how his passion for the waterways was born, the love for the Friuli region and for the walks on the Dolomites. In the meanwhile the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are upon us.
Molmenti, let’s start from the beginning: when you were a kid you could have got yourself into Soccer like many other kids. Not you. How your passion for the canoe and the waterways was born?
I am a nature’s lover, after the indoor swimming pool and gyms I have understood that only outdoor I could have express myself. With the canoe has been love at first sight: you drive in a street without traffic or tar’s odor, you live unique emotions, it’s way too easy to passionate about a sport like this.
What do you like about your region Friuli, and how much it has influenced your sport choices?
I am from Pordenone, I am from Friuli and I speak a venetian dialect. Talking about canoeing, I start my activity from the Noncello, a river that rises few meters away from my house, a fantastic land of sea and mountains, good wine and strong characters. My neighbors are honest people and great workers. What do I like? Everything! I like to find in every journey a new corner unknown before and savor every feature of it.
Which part of Italy is better for training?
On the Alps there are fabulous and unique creeks and rivers, canoeing in those places is always exciting. For my discipline I need also artificial canals and so I have to go abroad. Near Italy, for example, you can find artificial waters in Slovenia.
Why a young boy should choose the world of canoe today? What would you tell to those who want to try this sport?
The reasons for a boy’s choices are known only from that boy. Only trying you can learn the beauty and the opportunity of having fun with one of the most adrenaline sport!
Canoe/Kayak, how is this sport doing in Italy?
Like all the sports considered as ‘minor’, also canoe/kayak is practiced only by few athletes who last for a long time. In Italy there isn’t a real tradition of champions, but those we have last for many seasons. For example Josefa Idem, 8 Olympic Games participations!
You have won everything. Next year there are going to be the Rio Olympic Games. Any goals?
Going to Rio it’s not only a goal but it could also be the ‘icing on the cake’ of a long and important career. I need to qualify for the first step, then the preparation in the Brazilian waters could give me the desire to be the best again!
Let’s finish talking about vacations. Where do you like to go in Italy?
When I need some relax the Dolomites in Friuli are my home, with the writer Mauro Corona walking on the Dolomites’ crags is the best! But I also like to travel in the south, it is surprisingly fabulous! A fantastic sea and wonderful people!
Good luck for Rio!